Basildon councillors to consider additional powers for tackling enviro crime

Householders who continually blight their neighbourhoods with waste could be faced with fines up to £20,000 if councillors approve plans to introduce Community Protection Notices (CPNs).

The notices, which can only be issued following a written warning, would be used in addition to Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) or other traditional methods of enforcement. They will be used only in the most persistent and serious cases. Other local authorities have successfully introduced the use of CPNs to deal with waste being left in front gardens, around communal bins and on the public highway.

If convicted following a CPN an individual can receive a maximum fine of £2,500 which rises to £20,000 for a business. Breaching a CPN is a criminal offence and is intended to deal with unreasonable, ongoing problems or nuisance which negatively affect the community’s quality of life by targeting the person or organisation responsible.

The introduction of these new measures will be discussed at a meeting of the Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee on Wednesday March 11.

Committee chairman, Councillor David Harrison said: “It is clear that most residents do the right thing with their waste but a minority let the side down. Domestic household waste accounts for more than 80% of the borough’s flytips.

“This statistic has to fall so giving our enforcement officers the tools to be able to uphold a clean environment is vital. Dumped items encourage further dumping and have a knock-on effect to other services like street cleansing, and detract from the kind of environment we want to provide our residents with.”

These new measures would be in addition to an expanded team of in-house Street Scene Education and Enforcement Officers and a trial with National Enforcement Solutions to further boost enforcement activity within the borough.

Mick Ferris

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